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Dreaming about Dogs: An Online Survey

Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Postfach 12 21 20, 68072 Mannheim, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1915;
Received: 17 September 2020 / Revised: 10 October 2020 / Accepted: 14 October 2020 / Published: 19 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Behaviour and Physiology of Domestic Dogs)
The findings of the survey indicate that waking-life experiences with dogs (owning a dog or negative experiences with dogs in the past) affect dreaming in a significant way. On the one hand, dog owners dream about dogs more often and had overall positively toned dreams, whereas persons with negative experiences with dogs in their waking life reported a higher percentage of dreams with threatening dogs.
Dogs have been close human companions for millennia and one would expect—according to the continuity hypothesis of dreaming—that dogs are also quite common in dreams. Previous studies showed that the percentages of dreams that include dogs range from about 1.5% to 5%, but studies relating waking-life experiences with dogs with dreams about dogs have not been carried out. In total, 1695 persons (960 women, 735 men) completed an online survey that included questions about dreams and waking-life experiences that included dogs. The findings indicate that dogs show up, on average, in about 5% of remembered dreams, but this percentage is much higher in the dreams of dog owners and persons with close contacts with dogs. Moreover, the active time spent with a dog and the proximity during sleep is also related to a higher percentage of dreams that include dogs. Although dreams including dogs are on average more positively toned than dreams in general, about 11% of the dog dreams included threatening dogs. Persons who had negative experiences with dogs in their waking lives reported more threatening dog dreams. The results support the continuity hypothesis and it would be very interesting to conduct content analytic studies with dream samples obtained from dog owners to learn more about the variety of interactions between dreamers and dogs. View Full-Text
Keywords: dog dreams; threatening dreams; dog owner; dream recall frequency dog dreams; threatening dreams; dog owner; dream recall frequency
MDPI and ACS Style

Schredl, M.; Bailer, C.; Weigel, M.S.; Welt, M.S. Dreaming about Dogs: An Online Survey. Animals 2020, 10, 1915.

AMA Style

Schredl M, Bailer C, Weigel MS, Welt MS. Dreaming about Dogs: An Online Survey. Animals. 2020; 10(10):1915.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schredl, Michael, Christian Bailer, Muriel S. Weigel, and Melina S. Welt. 2020. "Dreaming about Dogs: An Online Survey" Animals 10, no. 10: 1915.

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